WASHINGTON — U.S. non-farm productivity edged up at a 0.7% annualized rate in the fourth quarter after rising a revised 1.9% in the third quarter, according to the Labor Department, which issued the preliminary reading on the data Thursday.

The gain reflected increases of 3.6% in output and 2.9% in hours worked, the department said.

Unit labor costs, a ratio of hourly compensation to labor productivity, rose 1.2% in the fourth quarter, after falling a revised 2.1% in the previous quarter.

Economists projected a 0.9% gain in productivity and a 0.9% rise in unit labor costs.

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